Mentors Assessors and Tutors

Mentors are volunteers from among the refereeing community who provide support and advice for trainee and newly qualified referees. The FA considers assessors to be “the guardian of standards of the Laws of the Game” (quote from The FA Assessor’s handbook). Tutors are licenced by The FA and trained to deliver a range of FA courses including the basic referees training course.


Who can be a mentor ?

The key characteristics of a good Mentor are friendliness, approachability and patience. Experience as a referee is helpful but it’s not necessary for this to be particularly lengthy. In many ways, someone who qualified a year or so ago will be an ideal Mentor for someone who is newly-qualified as the issues that challenge a new referee will still be fresh in the mind of the Mentor. Even if the Mentor doesn’t know the answer to every particular question, he or she will normally know who can provide it.

What’s involved in being a mentor ?

As a mentor you will be allocated a trainee referee who has successfully completed the practical and theory parts of the basic referee training course and is ready to begin their initial 6 matches. You will need to contact the trainee and make yourself available as someone they can call upon for help, advice and support. We ask our mentors to watch at least one and preferably two of their trainee’s initial 6 matches and give informal feedback afterwards. The key points for any Mentor to remember when watching a referee are to:

  • Say “well done !”
  • Ask the referee how he or she feels about the game
  • Congratulate the referee on the three strongest features of his or her game, encouraging them to maintain those strengths
  • Discuss possible solutions to the weakest feature of the referee’s game

Three strengths but only one weakness ? Yes. Mentoring is all about encouragement !

Your relationship with the trainee is ongoing and not limited to you occasionally watching their matches. It is important that you are accessible for the trainee whenever the need arises. Emails are a good way of communicating but it is important to have more direct contact either face to face or on the phone from time to time. You could also consider inviting your trainee to refereeing events such as referee society meetings.

What sort of training will I receive ?

From time to time we arrange evening training sessions for mentors. This training is approved by The FA and once you have attended the session your record as a referee will be updated to show mentoring as a qualification. We ask all our mentors to attend the course when they can and it is free of charge.

What about safeguarding requirements if I am allocated a young referee ?

We ask mentors who are allocated trainees under 18 years old to have up-to-date CRB checks and Safeguarding Children certificates (these should not be more than 3 years old). We provide help and funding for mentors who need to update their CRBs and Safeguarding certificates.

How do I apply to become a mentor ?

We will be very pleased to hear from any referee who is interested in volunteering to be a mentor. Please contact John Cooke, our Referee Development Officer (Email: Tel: 020 8733 2613).


Becoming an FA registered assessor will put you in a key role in the development of our referees by providing valuable feedback and guidance, particularly to young or inexperienced referees who seek promotion. The assessor’s role involves attending matches and observing a referee’s performance, offering advice after the game and producing a written report for the County FA. Registered assessors are paid for their time and the written report and if an Assessor performs well there are also opportunities for promotion as an assessor.

Why does there need to be a written assessor’s report ?

  • To help the referee improve his/her performance
  • To motivate the referee to adopt good advice
  • To raise standards of refereeing within the AFA
  • To provide critical information for the AFA

What are the criteria I need to meet to become an FA registered assessor ?

  • Be (or have been) at level 6 or higher
  • Substantial refereeing experience
  • Good depth of knowledge of the current Laws of the Game.
  • Able to view a game through the eyes of a referee
  • Able to analyse performance critically and objectively
  • Able to identify a referee’s strengths and areas for development
  • Able to offer solutions to eliminate shortcomings
  • Able to write quality, balanced and honest reports on referees’ performances

What sort of training will I receive ?

You will undertake an initial training course which aims to equip you with the relevant match day skills to undertake the assessing role. You will learn about the marking scheme, the referee competencies and good practice in completing the assessment form. The training will involve observation of a live match and preparation of a specimen report.

You will then work in conjunction with more experienced colleagues and submit at least two further mentored reports for approval by the County Referee Development Manager.

How do I apply to become an assessor ?

We welcome applications from retired or active referees who want to be trained as an assessor. All you need to do to start your application is contact John Cooke, our Referee Development Officer (Email: Tel: 020 8733 2613).


Tutoring is not just a case of providing referees with the skills and knowledge they need to qualify or gain promotion. Tutoring is also about inspiring people and leaving a lasting impression so that they want to referee at the highest possible standard. It is also about being able to create a positive learning environment and motivating people to want to know more.

Referee Tutors are licensed by The FA. There are four levels of licensed tutor:

  • Level 1 - Delivery of the basic referees training course
  • Level 2 - Delivery of in-service training for existing referees
  • Level 3 - Conduct quality assurance appraisals of level 1 and level 2 tutors and deliver FA regional based courses for tutors, assessors and mentors
  • Level 4 - Provide regional and possibly national work for The FA

For more details of the levels and structure for FA licensed tutors click on the “Tutor levels” document below.

Do you have what it takes to become an FA Referee Tutor? If you are a Level 6 Referee or above and are interested in becoming a Referee Tutor then please contact John Cooke, our Referee Development Officer (Email: Tel: 020 8733 2613).


What's On

Until we have your approval, we must limit some functionality - More details